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Karen A. Wyle was born a Connecticut Yankee, but moved every few years throughout her childhood and adolescence. After college in California, law school in Massachusetts, and a mercifully short stint in a large San Francisco law firm, she moved to Los Angeles. There she met her husband, who hates L.A. They eventually settled in Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University.
Wyle has been a voracious and compulsive reader as long as she can remember. She majored in English and American Literature major at Stanford University, which suited her, although she has in recent years developed some doubts about whether studying literature is, for most people, a good preparation for enjoying it. She has been reading science fiction for several decades, but also gobbles up character-driven mysteries and historical fiction, with the occasional foray into anything from chick lit to military history.
Wyle's voice is the product of almost five decades of reading both literary and genre fiction. It is no doubt also influenced, although she hopes not fatally tainted, by her years of practicing appellate law. Her personal history has led her to focus on often-intertwined themes of family, communication, the impossibility of controlling events, and the persistence of unfinished business.
Wyle and her husband have two essentially-grown and wildly creative daughters, as well as a sweet but neurotic dog.
Nadine Galinsky Feldman
on Oct. 30, 2013 :
Like all young brothers, Gordon and Johnny are curious, playful, and full of life. Most of the time they get along well, though they bicker from time to time. After all, they have different personalities: Gordon is reflective and sensitive, while Johnny loves a great adventure. Only one thing sets them apart from other brothers: they are conjoined twins.
The brothers do their best to lead a normal life, and their childhood is a happy one. But when Johnny learns about a cloning procedure that would allow him to live separately from his brother, he fights for that right, causing a rift that seems impossible to heal.
In Division, author Karen A. Wyle explores the limits of individual choice. The action starts slowly, as Wyle details the boys' daily lives, imagining their unique challenges as they grow into manhood. This is important to set the foundation, and readers would be advised to be patient. However, Division picks up steam when the brothers' conflict builds. One can only imagine their torment as they fight, with no opportunity to leave each other to process anger or frustration.
While Division has sci-fi elements, it emphasizes relationships more than the technology. Wyle's ability to inhabit the skins of these boys is the real strength of the book.
Division has mature themes and is suited to adults. Wyle explores the many possible challenges of conjoined twins, including budding sexuality, with detailed frankness.
As I read the book, I became more and more invested with the characters, and the ending satisfied. Gordon and Johnny will stay with me for some time.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Oct. 29, 2013 :
I took a whole day off writing to read this novel; a time I guard jealously. But I’m glad I did. The storyline intrigued me and is one I think we’ll all be hearing more about as the years roll on especially in novel form. Karen has obviously gone to a great deal of time and trouble with this book and it shows. The two main characters, the brothers, are beautifully observed and developed in their differences despite their genetic connection. Their dilemma is one which provoked a lot of thought rather than being something I could just read once and immediately forget. I enjoyed wondering where the book was going and am glad to report that I was wrong about the final ending. My favourite character in the book was the judge. You’ll have to read it to discover why.
Just as important in a market flooded with self published books, I was not forced to cringe half a dozen times on every page because of bad editing or painful grammatical mistakes. All in all a great read and one I would recommend to anyone. Well done to the author.
(reviewed the day of purchase)